Review: PATTI CAKE$30 August 2017 / by Happie Micha (author)
I am in love with Patti Cake$. With the classic come-up story, starring Australian actress Danielle Macdonald, I was brought into the film's world and immensely entertained with humour, persistence, and drama. Reminiscent of many before told stories -- "8 mile," "Precious" -- I feel "Patti Cake$" still stands strong on it’s own.
I am a true sucker for inspirational underdog stories, almost defeated by difference but yet still striving with a fire inside. Written and directed by filmmaker and musician Geremy Jasper, who also did the film's original soundtrack, "Patti Cake$" is the story of of a plus-sized, working class white teenager, Patti "Dumbo" Dombrowski (Danielle Macdonald). Patti works a series of menial jobs while trying to make it as a rapper with the encouragement of her hip-hop-loving best friend Jhen (Siddharth Dhananjay). She faces sexism, body-shaming and doubt from the people in her life, who say a big white girl can't make it as a rapper.
I teared up, laughed and sing along in joy. The cinematography definitely helped to tell the story in such a thought provoking way, featuring intense close ups that brought out the emotion the scenes -- especially in one interaction between Patti and her Mom.
I am in love with mother Bard, brilliantly played by actress and singer Bridget Everett. She was fabulous and truly embodied the role. Danielle Macdonald seems as though role was made for her, and definitely sells the rapping. Dhananjay's performance of the best friend Jhen was probably the weakest part of the film for me. But the stand out performance is definitely Basterd (Mamoudou Athie), an African-American, anti-establishment artist, who lives in a secret hideout in a state park that looks like the musical version of a madman's laboratory.
Thank God for the love story aspect, I am really into romance plots and it added a needed touch.
Patti Cake$ is about the nature of the struggle, and how hope is necessary in the face of all odds. The rapper come-up story may be considered cliche, but with the character of Patti I feel this is a different take on following your passion and keep your eyes on the prize. I give Patti Cake$ must watch for the story, humour and certainly for the inspiration to do more, stay true to who you are and keep shining like a star.